Drug update

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine – an Australian perspective

Jim Buttery



Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most important cause of bacterial meningitis, pneumonia and septicaemia in Australian infants. The conjugated vaccine allows immunisations of children under the age of 2 years.

Article Extract

Since 1 January 2005, all Australian infants have been able to receive federally funded vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). This organism is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in Australian children, and it causes the most severe cases. Pneumococcus is also the most important cause of bacterial pneumonia and septicaemia. Universal vaccination with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has been recommended for infants by the NHMRC Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) since 2003.